Aqueduct Racetrack Notes - March 31
By NYRA Press Office | 03/31/2014 04:06 PM ET
Kristo to come in from California on Tuesday for G1 TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial
Wood hopeful Uncle Sigh to have final breeze Tuesday or Wednesday
Social Inclusion arrives at Aqueduct for Wood
Special first race post of 1 p.m. on Saturday, featuring TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial baseball cap promotion
Kristo, most recently third in the Grade 2 San Felipe, 13 ½ lengths behind winner California Chrome, is scheduled to arrive at Aqueduct Tuesday for the Grade 1, $1 million TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial, his first start outside California. Trainer John Sadler said the bay son of Distorted Humor worked well at Santa Anita on Sunday, covering six furlongs in a handy 1:12 2/5.
"In his last race, we changed his running style and took him back a speed-favoring track and that probably was a mistake," said Sadler of Kristo, who is 1-3-1 from five career starts. "He ran much better in the [Grade 3] Sham before that [second to Midnight Hawk] and we think he deserves one more chance."
Kristo is looking to emulate the Wood success of California invaders such as I Want Revenge (2009), Bob and John (2006), Congaree (2001) and Fusaichi Pegasus (2000).
Accompanying Kristo on the flight will be Grade 3 Bay Shore hopeful
Kobe's Back, who won the Grade 2 San Vincente by 5 ¼ lengths but then was seventh of eight after being rank early in the Grade 2 Rebel at Oaklawn Park. The California-based Sadler's last graded stakes win in New York was the 1993 Bay Shore with Three Peat.
Uncle Sigh, runner up to fellow New York-bred Samraat in the Grade 3 Withers and the Grade 3 Gotham, will "hopefully" have his final tune up for the Wood over the Belmont Park training track tomorrow morning, said trainer Gary Contessa.
"Ideally, I would like to breeze him an easy half-mile tomorrow," said Contessa. "We'll have to see what it's like. If not tomorrow, then we'll do it on Wednesday."
Corey Nakatani, who was aboard for Uncle Sigh's neck defeat in the Gotham, will return aboard Uncle Sigh for the 1 1/8-mile Wood, Contessa confirmed.
Unbeaten Social Inclusion arrived at Aqueduct Racetrack at approximately 3 a.m. on Monday after departing Gulfstream Park by van on Sunday, according to a tweet made by owner Ronald Sanchez.
Social Inclusion, who is trained by Manuel Azpurua, settled in barn 4 at Aqueduct and is expected to gallop up to the Wood Memorial, which will be his first start away from Gulfstream and third overall. He won a six-furlong maiden race by 7 ½ lengths on February 22 and a 1 1/16-mile open allowance race by 10 lengths on March 12.
First race post time for Saturday's 12-race card will be 1 p.m., with the Wood scheduled as race 10 with an approximate post time of 5:40 p.m. Gates open at 11 a.m., and guests will be able to pick up a TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial baseball cap with the purchase of a full Post Parade program or a coupon, while supplies last. Also Saturday, NYRA is offering a $500,000 Guaranteed All-Graded Stakes Pick 4 beginning with race 8 and comprising the Grade 2 Gazelle, the Grade 3 Bay Shore, the Wood, and the Grade 1 Carter Handicap.